Before Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, there had been plans for Ben Affleck to co-write, star, and direct a solo Batman film. Creative differences and Affleck’s apparent frustration eventually led to him first exiting the project as director then later leaving the Bruce Wayne/Batman role altogether.
We don’t know a lot of about the unmade project but there had been confirmation from cinematographer Robert Richardson (Live By Night, Kill Bill, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Inglourious Basterds), who had been once attached to the Affleck film, that the film would involved the infamous Arkham Asylum.
RICHARDSON: “I wanted to shoot Batman with Ben [Affleck] cause that was the next film we had. There was a script, but not a loved script. There was a lot of work he was doing to it to change it. Well, he was going into the more insanity aspects. He was entering more into the Arkham, he’s going into where everyone was bad.“
Deathstroke actor Joe Manganiello had been expected to reprise the Slade Wilson part for Ben’s Batman solo project allowing him to later get a meatier role than his small cameo in Justice League. While speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Joe compared the purposed Affleck project to David Fincher’s underrated Michael Douglas thriller The Game and gave some details about the tone they were attempting to go for.
MANGANIELLO: “There were similarities to The Game…It was a really dark story in which Deathstroke was like a shark or a horror movie villain that was dismantling Bruce’s life from the inside out. It was this systemic thing: He killed everyone close to Bruce and destroyed his life to try and make him suffer because he felt that Bruce was responsible for something that happened to him…It was really cool, really dark and really hard. I was very excited for it.”
Joe confirmed his return to the Deathstroke role in Zack Snyder’s extended version of Justice League for HBO Max on social media, but remains to be seen if he’ll ever play the role again.
THE GAME (1997) – Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a successful banker who keeps mostly to himself. When his estranged brother Conrad (Sean Penn) returns on his birthday with an odd gift — participation in a personalized, real-life game — Nicholas reluctantly accepts. Initially harmless, the game grows increasingly personal, and Orton begins to fear for his life as he eludes agents from the mysterious game’s organizers. With no one left to trust and his money gone, Orton must find answers for himself.
The David Fincher connection isn’t shocking given that Ben Affleck had recently worked with the director on the thriller Gone Girl and Matt Reeves incarnation is essentially taking cues from Fincher’s entire movie library. I’ve spotted multiple homages or nods to Zodaic, Seven, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Panic Room, and even the aforementioned film The Game in the teaser trailer.
Matt’s movie seems to be taking a similar dark tone and might be picking up on what Affleck wanted to do.
SOURCE: YAHOO ENTERTAINMENT